September 30, 2003

Karma In Effect

From the Saginaw News (via about a pregame ritual that went over the top:

"One teenager spit on it.

The next Flint Northern High School football player kicked the black helmet scrawled with a yellow "S."

And so it went, on down the line, like a lazy firing squad, as the visiting team pelted the effigy Saginaw High School helmet in view of the Trojans' bench.


Referees did nothing as the makeshift helmet took a beating on the goal line of Laeding Field's south end zone during the 20-minute warm-up period before this year's gridiron opener Aug. 28."
The article then launches into a screed about how taunting is the worst thing in sports ever and needs to be stopped at any cost:
"Despite an onslaught of campaigns in recent years, coaches' and officials' failure to stop Flint Northern's systematic taunting may belie an athletic culture -- something like a war -- in which, too often, all's fair.

'The difficulty is if you don't win, you try other things to try to win, and some of the things are not ethical,' said James E. Hornak, chairman of the Physical Education and Sport Department at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. 'Sportsmanship is a difficult issue.'"
Sounds like my entire high school career. Our football team was a combined 4-32; we compensated by inventing some, um, earthy cheers (which decorum prevents me relating here). That was our coping mechanism, and it definitely met the Michigan High School Athletic Association's definition of taunting:
". . . any action or comment by coaches, players or spectators that is intended to bait, anger, embarrass, ridicule or demean others, whether or not the deeds or words are vulgar or racist."
I don't recall any of our -- OK, I'll call them taunts because that's what they were -- being racist, but they were most assuredly vulgar. But I digress.

The score? Saginaw won 42-0.

Posted by Chris at September 30, 2003 03:32 PM

Category: Sports